Infectious Waving

Tailem Bend’s infectious waving for wellbeing campaign takes a turn for the better, with Adelaide ABC and councils from around the state taking interest in the simple mental health initiative.

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Another sign – Peter Squires of Old Tailem Town finds a small G’Day Mate badge, amongst old wares in one of his sheds, as he receives notification that Adelaide ABC and councils from around the state wish to get on board with his groups Tailem Bend waving initiative.

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From humble beginnings earlier in the year, local businessman, Peter Squires of Old Tailem Town, and his enthusiastic team of local volunteers, have taken what was a small local waving campaign, to promote community wellbeing and local tourism, to another level – and by early accounts the idea may even be adopted nationally.

With so many affected by the effects of suicide and forms of depression, team volunteer, Glenn Power of Tailem Bend, has been deeply moved and heartened by the amount of support.

“I suppose, with hindsight, its no wonder that Peter’s simple campaign, taking on such a difficult emotionally charged wide spread problem, has captured so many hearts,” Glenn said. “We just started waving, taking a few photos and spreading the idea – it’s been amazing how the campaign has taken off.”

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Old Tailem Town’s, Danny and Tina Squires both of Tailem Bend, spreading the infectious message behind Tailem Bend’s successful Waving Campaign, Riverside Hotel, Thursday, May 25, 2017.

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With suicide prevention high on all community leaders’ agendas, the group has definitely hit a raw nerve with their painless low cost way of engaging their community.

The group leader, Peter Squires, feels that the waving campaign is an almost effortless initiative that may just be the medicine to help more people open up and improve their communication with others.

“Essentially waving and saying “Good-day” gives anyone the excuse to converse without feeling like an extravert and I feel it definitely brings introverts out of their shell – helping them feel a part of their community,” Peter said.

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Angie Tomkinson of Wellington East, at the Tailem Bend Library window greeting Friends of the Tailem Bend Historians with a friendly Tailem Bend wave, Friday May 26, 2017.

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After the tragic death of their grandson, Peter and his wife Margaret, experienced community waving whilst holidaying on Norfolk Island and felt it was an extremely effective way of bringing people together for a memorable experience.

“We were told on the plane, even before we landed on Norfolk, that we were expected to wave – what a wonderful idea,” Peter said.

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Tailem Bend Auto Club member, Andy Persello and his partner Jill Wilson, both of Tailem Bend sharing a friendly Tailem Bend Wave while dining at the Riverside Hotel’s famous Schnitzel Night, Thursday, May 25 2017.

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With advice from Coorong District Council, the group has taken the waving campaign to the recently formed Tailem Business & Tourism committee to gain additional business support.

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Volunteer, Leanne Rohde of Tailem Bend, sharing a wave in between covering books at the Tailem Bend Library, Friday May 26, 2017.

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Merchandise and further council meetings have been put on hold as the group approaches the founder, Board Chairman of ‘beyondblue’, The Honourable Jeff Kennett AC for further advice.

If you would like to get on board send us a note or email Glenn Power at choppower@bigpond.com or, better still, drop into Old Tailem Town and have a chat with Peter Squires.

Like all great ideas it’s simple, you just have to wave  – preferably with a smile saying “Good-Day” and it will not cost you a cent.

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